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Ames Public Library
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the City of Ames.

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Support the Ames Public Library
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Volunteering at the Ames Public Library

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Ames Public Library has a variety of volunteer positions available for adults, teenagers, and families who are interested in making a positive impact on the Ames community and its quality of life. Here is a list of some of the volunteer opportunities available. If you have a particular interest or skill area not listed here, please talk to the Volunteer Services Coordinator about other opportunities.


Project Smyles is APL’s outreach program to area daycares/preschools focusing on early literacy skills. We serve all the daycares/preschools in the Ames community by providing them with “deposit collections” (small temporary libraries, approx. 50 books each) that remain at each center for a month. Volunteers will assist Youth Services staff by selecting materials based off of pre-planned early literacy guidelines.  Each volunteer’s level of involvement is flexible as is scheduling.


Volunteers are needed on a weekly basis to deliver supplies of books to area daycares/preschools. Volunteers are required to have a valid driver’s license and good driving record. Volunteers will need to be able to lift canvas bags of books.


Be a part of an exciting new research program centered on early literacy and communication skills. Free childcare is provided for families who participate in 8-week classes and follow up meetings. Class schedules change regularly. If you are interested in helping, please email with your name, email address and whether you are age 11-16 or age 16 or older. A background check is required for all volunteers before participating.


Assist Customer Service staff by retrieving items requested by our customers via our website. Shifts are generally two hours but are in part dependent on how many requests have been placed. Current openings are: Wednesdays 9:00-11:00; Fridays 9:00-11:00; Saturdays 1:00-3:00.


Our media items are some of the most highly-circulating library materials, and because of that we need some help keeping them in good shape.  Volunteers will assist Resource Services staff with inventory and checking discs for damage. Schedules are flexible but need to be limited to afternoon hours.


Come join a wonderful team of volunteers who help our used book store, Literary Grounds, raise funds to support library programming, materials, and services. This fun position requires at least one two hour shift per week; shifts needing to be filled currently are Mondays 3:00-5:00; Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 and 3:00-5:00; Thursdays 3:00-5:00; Fridays 11:00-1:00, 1:00-3:00 and 3:00-5:00; Saturdays 9:00-1:00 and 2:00-4:00. Duties include simple cashiering, coffee preparation, and closing procedures. Applicants for this position must have good customer service skills, accurate money counting skills, and can commit long term. 


Perform as the Library mascot at public events. Volunteers must be animated and outgoing (at least while in costume!), and able to engage with young event participants and their families. You must be able to remain completely silent while in the costume and maintain the “mascot mystique”….our mascot is definitely real! Schedules are determined based on events and volunteer availability.


Volunteers will act as the Library mascot’s escort/handler to public appearances. You will help the mascot maneuver through crowds and will speak for our mascot who stays completely silent. You will help maintain a safe environment around the mascot including intervening with young children who like to pull tails! Volunteers must be able to engage event participants and maintain the “mascot mystique”….our mascot is definitely real! Schedules are determined based on events and volunteer availability.


A volunteer is needed to help distribute program fliers throughout the Main Street area and, if possible, beyond. The commitment for this position is once or twice per month. Transportation will be needed to reach locations outside of the downtown area. 



If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator, Sarah Bohlke at or 239-5663.


There are other areas of volunteer needs not listed here including special projects and events, so please ask about opportunities that may be of more interest to you. 

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For more information, call (515) 239-5663 or e-mail